Thursday, July 27, 2017

Save Box

Every couple of months either I or my brother, or both of us, go to Florida to check on the condo we inherited.  Typically we/I stay only two or three days before heading back.  That was the plan this time.

I got here on Sunday, watered the plants, checked on the general condition of the place--then met up with my Camp friends Wally and Eileen for the dinners which we always enjoy whenever I stroll into town. On Monday I met a guy for lunch down by the beach, and on Tuesday I enjoyed lunch with my twin cousins who live in south florida.  Plan was to depart on Wednesday morning.

I returned from my afternoon lunch with my cousins and walked into a steam bath.  It has been broiling in Florida this week. Very humid, every day in the 90s.  When I walked into the unit I expected the refreshing cool air of the air conditioner. But nay.  It was hotter than Hades in the condo.

The bad news was that the air conditioner unit had stopped working. The good news is that it had stopped working while I was here.  Otherwise it could have been months without air and the place would be mold city.

I had to scramble to get HVAC people to take a look and give estimates (which were widely disparate in terms of what they thought the problem was).  Meanwhile I had to cancel flights, extend rental car, and in general rearrange quite a bit.

One fellow came out and shook his head predicting financial disaster. Another guy got it to work by ramming his hand on top of the unit, and them pushing the fan with his screwdriver.  Alas that inexpensive remedy did not last through the night.  Today a third person took a look and explained in what amounted to a foreign language what was wrong and what he fixed.  So far, knock on wood, because of his actions the ac is working. I will be staying here tomorrow, just to make sure it works for a day before I head back to Boston.

I figured that I had some extra time (a) waiting for the repairmen to come during their 1:30 to 4 slot (arrived at 3:50) (b) waiting to see if the work worked.

 Previously my brother and I had gone through the entire house and thrown out various items that needed to go. We did keep some items in boxes marked "Save Box" for either one of us.  It is well over a year since I put stuff in my Save Box.  With the extra time waiting to see if the air will remain cold, I thought I'd go through it.

This could be a testament to my failing memory, but much of the stuff in that box i had not seen before. I think in our haste to go through items in the past, there were some things that looked like they might be worth saving, that I put in my box, without really studying the item.  I hope that is the case, otherwise my memory is shot.

Regardless, the items in there were remarkable. There were telegrams my father sent to my mother when he was stationed in Japan during WWII.  I saw an invitation to, not my parents' wedding, but to the reception that followed.  There were the formal thank you notes to those who sent gifts at the wedding.  A bunch of letters that I had sent to my folks--many far wittier than what I compose nowadays.  A poem that I'd composed to the pace of The Raven that I remember writing and mailing, but did not remember having seen in the last 30 years.  A great card with a picture of a sheep on a desert island.  You open it up and it reads "Isle of Ewe." Dad must have loved sending that and mom probably is still rolling her eyes in the grave.

Also in the box was junk that I cannot believe I saved the first go round.  Those items did not make the second cut.

Well, I kept the items I thought were special, but I wondered who else would think they were.  Would my nephew get a charge out of going though the Save Box.  Would his kids at some point think it was neat.  I do know that I enjoyed the romp through the Save Box.  Our past is just the backdrop to our present.  It helps put what is current in perspective.

I took a break during the sifting through the Save Box and thought it would be appropriate to go to a Chinese restaurant my dad liked in the area. He went there so much that he had his own card with a discount.  On his last Thanksgiving, after my mother died, I was down here to visit.  We were going to go to get a turkey dinner, but instead ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Chinese restaurant.  It was hardly the only time I had gone there with him.  But tonight, three years later, when I was eating my egg rolls and hot and sour soup, I recalled that Thanksgiving and sitting across from him.  I smiled, looked up at the empty side of the table, and said, "thanks for the stuff in the box." It sort of felt like he smiled back.  I should have said, "Isle of Ewe"

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